Kids pulling rope in tug-of-war game

3 strategies to avoid workplace teamwork disaster

Getting your employees to work in teams can be difficult, especially when you have employees with drastically different emotions and interpersonal dynamics.

When announcing teamwork assignments, half of the employees tend to get worried, annoyed, and resistant about working together; the other half may feel excited, optimistic, and confident.

So how can you help employees come together despite their initial hesitations? Below are three easy strategies that may be useful when carrying out group projects.

Assign shared goals, but also individual tasks

Managers tend to announce a new project and say something along the lines of: “and I expect you to work together on this.” This method is inefficient because it usually means the employees go back to their cubicles and figure out what part they will be doing on their own. Instead, explain the team effort, but also give team members each a responsibility and make them accountable for the final result. This allows plenty of room for cooperation and a slim chance for any one employee to fall short. Everyone knows their parts and what the end goal is.

Empower your team to feel mutual respect for one another

Encourage the team to recognize each member’s strengths and view them as an asset for the team instead of as a threat. One person may be better at fine-tuning details, another at coming up with ideas, and another at time management. Reassure employees that everyone has a strength and that no one strength is better than the other. They need to understand that these aspects are all needed to achieve the goal.

Celebrate winning as a whole, not as individuals

As a manager, you can discourage any feelings of personal entitlement on a team project by rewarding and recognizing everyone who participated equally. Don’t show favoritism or allow team members to boast about their parts. Praise the team by hosting a lunch, providing an appreciation gift, or even sending company-wide email recognizing the team. The point is to show appreciation for the team as a whole.

The next time your team has a group project, be sure to implement the three steps above. It will help to not only build up your team and their performance, but also help boost your employees’ morale.

What else can organizations do to build respect, trust and empower their employees? Read more about that here at Thrive Global. Also, Inc. Magazine offers tips for inspiring your team to meet or exceed their goals.

Do you need help with other HR ideas and policies for your business? Contact the experts at BCN Services. We’re here to help.

Yaneli Valdes, HR Administrator